Skip All Navigation

Access Maine logo

Close this page 
to go back to the
previous window.


Behavioral Health(BH)
(formerly known as the Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services)

This is also a state agency that provides support to people with disabilities of all ages who meet specific eligibility criteria. For the purposes of this manual, we will focus on services that are provided to people with a diagnosis of mental retardation, autism or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

As with other agencies, there is a referral process that is necessary to complete in order for your young adult to be determined eligible for services, even if they have received services from BDS as a child. If your child has a children’s case manager than that person may make the referral for adult services through BDS. It is always beneficial as a parent to check, at least by the time your child is 17, with the intake coordinator of adult services for BDS to determine whether or not BDS is aware of your child, the support needs that he/she has, and to ensure that the referral to adult services is in process.

There are many services that BDS supports. They include services for residential support, day habilitation support and employment support. BDS usually will contract with a community provider organization that will provide the desired service. There is choice for a young person in deciding which provider organization will provide the necessary support.

If your young adult is eligible for services through BDS it is very important for you to become familiar with what they have to offer, how to apply for services, how their services interact with services from other agencies (ex. Voc. Rehab.) and to determine if there is a waiting list for services. It is also essential that a representative from BDS be actively involved in the transition planning process.

Back to top

Introduction | Federal Definition of Transition Services
Transition Planning | Critical Connections | Other Useful Information